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Sunday, October 01, 2017

Mastering Pastel Mark Making


'Under Moody Skies'         9x12        pastel        ©Karen Margulis
available $125
Once you have the tools it is a matter of refining techniques. A big part of the techniques involved with the pastel medium is mastering mark making or how to apply the pastel to get the effects you want.  We all have our own way of making marks. It is like handwriting....we all have our own personal calligraphy. Our marks and way we apply them are unique to us.

But there are some basic building blocks in mark making and once mastered they allow the artist to explore and discover their own silt of applying pastel.

I have three basic ways that I use to apply pastel. 
 WHISPERING MARKS, SHOUTING MARKS and DANCING MARKS.


  • Whispering marks are those marks applied with the side of the pastel using a LIGHT TOUCH. A light touch allows for the artist to build many layers creating optical blends of color.
  • Shouting marks are those marks applied with a heavy touch. The paper is covered with thick pastel. I use shouting marks when I know I will not be adding another layer to the area. I can shout at any point in the painting but most often at the end for the final marks.
  • Dancing marks are those usually applied with harder pastels. They are linear marks used for detail such as grass. I like to let the pastel 'dance' across the paper and use BROKEN LINES. This makes more natural looking linear marks.


Can you identify the three types of marks I made?
How do you apply pastel? Think about the types of marks you make. Do you whisper or shout? Do you dance or do you something totally different?

Since a picture is worth a thousand words I made a short video demonstrating these types of three marks up close. The video is now available on my Patreon page for a sneak preview to patrons.

Check out my video intro on my new Patreon Page
www.patreon.com/karenmargulis


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